The jewel in the crown …

05 Feb

About eight miles from where I was born in South Wales is a small town called Tredegar. The iron works have gone as have the mines, but its history has left a lasting legacy to the British nation: Tredegar was the birthplace of the National Health Service. Local boy Aneurin Bevan used the Miners Hospital […]

Where is the vision of civic life?

05 Feb

I am thoroughly enjoying watching ‘Dickensian’ at the moment. A murder mystery involving some of the better known characters from Dickens’s novels and set in late Victorian London is great fun. We shall have to wait and see who it was that murdered Jacob Marley! The Victorian era has a mixed press. It was an […]

Not counting the calories

05 Feb

‘Dad’ said my eldest daughter just after Christmas ‘we must spend more quality time together next year.’ So in January we kept the promise we had made to each other and I took up her invitation to join her at sessions of a slimming franchise. We do seem to be rather at war with our […]

Life on the Edge

19 Jan

On Wednesday 10th February 2016 (11.30am – Bridport United Church) Rezwana Islam, a Christian Aid Support Officer, working in Bangladesh, will share stories of the families she has met who have been affected by climate change and by the destructive powers of the Brahmaputra River – and who are living on the edge of survival! […]

Paintings to feature in sermons

19 Jan

Famous paintings will feature in sermons for the Spring season of Choral Evensongs at St Mary’s Parish Church, Bridport.  The theme is “The power of passion and resurrection in three paintings.” The first at 4 p.m. on Sunday 7th February is “Christ after the flagellation” by Diego Valáquez, the second on Sunday 6th March is […]

Christmastide at St Mary’s

04 Jan

Although the north aisle of Bridport Parish Church had to be closed after the ceiling collapsed just before Advent, St Mary’s Church sustained a large, varied and well attended programme of Christmastide services and activities.  These ranged from quiet candlelit reflection at Compline to children’s excitement on Christmas Eve at the Crib Service with the […]

Not another death star?

02 Jan

We all age and as the years roll by waistlines expand and other bits sag. There’s little point worrying about it, it’s just the way it is. Like turning grey its best done gracefully. I will admit to being rather shocked though by the passage of years and their effect on some folks who I […]

You Muppet!

02 Jan

We all have our traditions at this time of year and one of mine is sometime in December to watch my favourite Christmas movie. It is based on one of literature’s great books and the cast is studded with huge stars of stage and screen. It can only be ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’. I am […]


02 Jan

I am just about getting my mind around the new bin rota. So far I have forgotten to put food waste out twice and got the week’s the wrong way round for recycling and general rubbish. Things must improve otherwise I shall have to drive my diesel car to the landfill myself at who knows […]

End times?

02 Jan

I can remember sandwich-board men on the streets of Cardiff with the message: ‘Repent for the end is nigh.’ You don’t see them so much these days although one does see ‘Jn. 3.3’ around, which is a different but related message for those who know their bibles. All three of the world’s religions which share […]

Measured tone chills the heart.

02 Jan

I had just settled into my seat and was looking forward to reading my book. Robert Harris’ ‘Lustrum’ his novel of Cicero which the blurb on the back promised to ‘deliver thrilling yet timeless games of power, sex, fame and Rome…’. Perfect holiday read for a vicar, I thought. Then the captain’s measured tones came […]

Jennings and Darbishire

27 Oct

I used to love to read the ‘Jennings’ series of novels of life set in the fictional Linbury Prep School written by Anthony Buckeridge. Jennings and friend Darbishire got into all sorts of scrapes in a school which seemed a place of endless sport, midnight feasts in the dorm and crazy teachers like ‘Old Wilkie’. […]

Bags of bags

27 Oct

It is surely one of the saddest tasks in life to go to ones parents home for that final clear-out after they have died. Almost everything one touches has a memory attached to it. It’s over three years now that that task had to be undertaken and there are still several boxes in the garage […]

Beware an unexploded marrow!

27 Oct

This is the time of year of ‘mellow fruitfulness’ when our local churches will be doing a lot of ‘ploughing and scattering’. Folks still like a ‘traditional’ harvest service, but the celebration itself is a Victorian invention, the first being held in 1843 in the parish of Revd Stephen Hawker who was known locally for […]

Turning the other cheek

25 Sep

Revenge, it is said, ‘is a dish best eaten cold’. There seems to be some disagreement as to exactly when this proverb was first written but it was certainly widely in circulation by the late 1780’s. When one has suffered a slight or been humiliated it is only too human to feel angry and vindictive […]

Strangers at the gate.

08 Sep

I was born a mile from a village called Fleur-dy-lys, an unusual French name for a place in one of the eastern valleys of Wales. The village came into being because of a group who might be classed as amongst Britain’s first refugees. The Huguenots were French protestant followers of the teachings of John Calvin […]

It’s in the genes.

03 Sep

Researchers in America seem to think they have solved the debate about which is better: cats or dogs? In evolutionary terms it appears that the fossil records shows that felids, the cat family, have been much better at surviving than the canid clan, dogs. Cats were the better hunters and their retractable claws were of […]

Boom, boom!

03 Sep

It’s a long time ago, and I was in Primary school, but 1968 was a year filled with violence and protest. The great civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated causing rioting across the United States. Thousands of French students battled with riot police in Paris and in London anti-Vietnam war demonstrators fought […]

Danger and risks on the road ahead.

13 Aug

Just to Say. (published previously in the Bridport News). As I sit and write this I can see a long line of slow moving traffic including disgruntled holiday-makers and frustrated lorry drivers making their way up South Street in Bridport. There’s been another accident and a diversion is in place. Official government statistics show that […]

Brilliant Bridport

12 Aug

Just to Say. People are always popping in and out of St. Mary’s on South Street and many, particularly at this time of year, are visitors from around the country and overseas. One of the things they often say is ‘What a lovely town Bridport is’ and I can only agree. I used to pass […]

Blast remembered

08 Aug

   Around fifty people joined the peace march from Bucky Doo Square, via the river and Quaker Peace Garden to St. Mary’s to mark the 70th anniversary of the use of the Atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945. In a moving ceremony young people from Bridport joined with their exchange partners […]

Inside Out

08 Aug

  Early days of the school holidays and off to the cinema with grandchildren in tow to watch the new Disney Pixar animation ‘Inside Out’. As has been the case in the past Pixar films can be viewed at so many different levels and ‘Inside Out’ is by far the more complex and engaging of […]

Duck! Seagull alert!

26 Jul

In parts of the county of Surrey ‘gulls’ are females who attend single sex schools. Around here gulls are birds of a very different feather and are both annoying and rather alarming at times. Last week I met a rather beautiful Harris hawk and his handler; the team being employed over the summer by a […]

What are church bells for?

24 Jul

The bells at Bradpole are rung whenever a reason is presented!  Sunday 14th June was just such a time.  Morning Service was cancelled because of the Team Service at St Mary’s but luckily, as this was the second Sunday of the month, Evensong was held at 6.30pm. In addition, and very importantly, this was the […]

All steamed up for a chuffing good night!

06 Jul

A bunch of blokes got together to enjoy some time at the Meadowlands Light Railway, part of ‘God’s Wonderful Railway’!  There was a fabulous barbeque, good chat and tall stories.  More than anything there was a chance to operate a fabulous model railway that wound its way around the garden.  The weather was perfect, the burgers tasty […]

All you need is love

23 Jun

FAITH, HOPE & LOVE Canon Andrew Evans will be preaching on the subject of “Love” at a service of Evensong at St Mary’s Parish Church at 4 pm on Sunday 5th July.  This is the last in a series of three sermons taking the themes of “Faith, Hope and Love” from 1 Corinthians.  

What value freedom?

20 Jun

Hollywood often gets history wrong, never so more abysmally than in Mel Gibson’s ‘Braveheart’. Yet the last scene as William Wallace is executed is powerful; remember Gibson’s final shout of ‘Freedom!’ What does the word ‘freedom’ mean to you? It’s something which is much discussed at the moment as we celebrate the 800th anniversary of […]